It seems odd to celebrate the New Year when we do. Some of us might prefer in January to hibernate like the wild creatures that tuck themselves into tree cavities and deep holes. Wouldn’t it make more sense to ring in the New Year in April or May, when it feels like the natural world is starting again?
The beauty of celebrating the New Year in the heart of winter is that it’s a quiet time, a time for reflecting on the past year and the hopes for the year ahead. Sometime around Jan. 1, I step outside on a night when the temperature plunges below zero, when the sky seems more vivid and the stars more bright than any other time of year. It helps that I live miles from any neighbors, from any town, from any electricity. But in looking at the sky, I feel connected to a much larger world.
There are other ways to connect this time of year. There are two sled dog races along the North Shore in January—the Gunflint Mail Run, Jan. 3-4 and the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon, Jan. 23-29. The beginning of a sled dog race is an exciting event, and joining the crowd to cheer on the teams is sure to bolster winter spirits. This month we profiled three women who have taken on the Beargrease marathon many times and are signed up to do it again.
If you get tired of the cold, you can duck inside one of the craft breweries that Kelsey Roseth profiles and try a craft beer. From Thunder Bay to Duluth, craft brewers are jumping on the microbrew bandwagon, an industry that has been growing steadily, if not explosively, for the past few years.
Other stories this month include a profile by Joseph Friedrichs of a man who has a passion for vintage snowmobiles, memories of snowshoe adventures from Gord Ellis and a look at historical encounters with UFOs from Elle-Andra Warner. In our Along the Shore section, we have news of a new snowmobile event to be held in Lutsen in April, and two profiles of interesting organizations: The Northern Lake County Arts Board, by Joan Farnam, and the Blue Sky Healing Centre by Julia Prinselaar.
When you’re finished staring up at the stars, and making your resolutions for the New Year ahead, come join us. We’ll be at the races, and after, you can find us bellied up to the bar.—Erin Altemus